Friday, November 18, 2005

11 July 1989 Iguana Park Restaurant

Last day of the seminars. Lecture by Bob Milbury (sp?) on finance -- i.e. it would have been a good idea to invest money in Ecuador over the past year @ 34% interest as the currency remained fairly stable (around 500 sucres/dollar). (However, it has shot up to 591 sucres/dollar as of July 19 -- 537 when we arrived.)

I can't remember what we did in the pm. Oh, yes -- downtown with Martha, Tom, Emily, Ellen and Francisco (some of my favorite people). We wanted to go to some museums and 2 bookstores, but everything closes down between 12 and 3 pm, so we went to a restaurant overlooking the iguana park and had a magnificent buffet for less than $5.00 (about the most we've paid for a meal, but it was very elegant, very artistic food.) There were men in chef's hats serving nicely arranged food -- you could almost forget you were in Guayaquil. If one lived here, could one ever forget one was in Guayaquil? One of the guides in the Galapagos told me that once a whole section of Guayaquil (a nice section at that) was almost totally without water for 3 or 4 months. Well, after going to bookstores, we were too tired to do museums so we went home.

Al and Lupe had a party at their home in the evening. The apartment was packed -- all of the "Reality" participants and their Ecuadorian host families, the Service Learning students, many of the lecturers, many people connected with Laica University and Brookdale, plus many others. Men in suits offered us colas or whisky (just like at the 4th of July at Laica celebration). We had live music and all of the Guayaquinos and/or Manabis sang either the Guayaquil "fight" song or a beautiful song about the province of Manabi. Once again, the food was grand -- everyone was drooling over the Flan de Coco. Actually, a group of us spent so much time discussing our change of plans for the next two days that we missed most of the food! Al thought that we might want to change our plans to travel to Riobamba because of the food strike scheduled for Wednesday. So -- we decided to go to Salinas, the Miami Beach of Ecuador. It's cold, so bring a sweater!


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